I'm saying this, as you lay asleep; your little paw crumpled under your cheek and the jet black curls sticking wet on your forehead, dampened with sweat. I've stolen into your room alone. I can't just forget the stifling wave of remorse that swept over me yesterday. I couldn't just stop; I guiltily came down to your room. While I recline against your bedside to watch you sleeping with all the serenity and calmness, I get the visions of my being always cross to you, catching you doing something wrong.
I'd constantly monitor your life and interfere in your play and privacy, by imposition of advices, rules and restrictions. At times when I caught you watching TV or playing video-game, even when you'd finished with your examination, I'd go berserk and shoo you away into your room to study after scolding you without rhyme and reason. Not satisfied, I'd always treat you as 'apprentice person' who hasn't really arrived yet as total human being and criticize you when you made mistakes. I'd untiringly ridicule your dreams with admonitions to 'be realistic', and much to your annoyance, always compare you with other children. I can't forget scolding you, as you'd dress for the school, because you gave your face a merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.
At breakfast and dinner I found fault too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You spread your butter/jam too thick on your bread. While in restaurant I always thought you shouldn't be a child but rather 'act grown-up'. As if somewhat like telling a dog not to be a dog, I'd sternly warn you about 'not being a child', before entering the restaurant. I can never forget hurling those nauseating lambastes on to you which included, 'don't put your elbow on the table; put your napkin in your lap; stop fidgeting; don't laugh so loud; stop bothering those people; cut one or two bites of meat, put down your knife, shift your fork to the other hand, don't make noise while sipping tea or eating food. How many times do I've to tell you?'
And there's so much that's good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me, good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I've come to your bedside in the darkness, and I've knelt there ashamed. It's a feeble atonement; I know you won't understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I'll be a real papa! I'll chum with you and suffer when you suffer and laugh when you laugh. I'll bite my tongue when impatient and nasty words come. I'll keep saying as if it were a ritual; 'he's nothing but a little boy—a little boy'. I'm afraid I've visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary on your bed I see that you're still a baby. Yesterday you're in your mother's arms, your head on her shoulders; I've asked too much, too much, my son.